Don’t Fall for These Common Geothermal Heating & Cooling Myths
Geothermal heating and cooling utilizes the earth as a heat source and a heat sink for all-season comfort. Only six feet beneath the surface, the earth maintains a steady temperature in the mid 50-degree Fahrenheit range, year-round. A geothermal heating and cooling system utilizes buried loops of tubing that circulate heat-absorbing fluid and return the harvested ground heat to an indoor heat pump that concentrates it, then disperses warmth into the home. In summer, the system reverses and the heat pump extracts heat from the house and returns it to the earth.
In residential applications, geothermal heating and cooling is a proven technology, yet some misunderstandings persist. Here are a few of the common myths:
- Geothermal isn’t green because it uses electricity: Some power is consumed to run the heat pump compressor and blower. However, the energy consumed is up to 70 percent less than other options. No combustion whatsoever of natural gas or oil is involved.
- Geothermal requires a large yard for the buried ground loops: Loops can be installed vertically, in deep, small-bore holes drilled into the ground. In this orientation, geothermal needs very little open space.
- Buried components of geothermal systems may deteriorate: The HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) tubing carries a minimum 50-year warranty – some as much as 100 years. Shielded from the elements and other factors, underground loop components are actually less exposed to damaging wear and tear.
- Geothermal only provides heating and cooling: Actually, the free heat energy from the earth can also be used to heat water for your home and keep the pool warm.
- It must make a lot of noise outdoors: To the contrary, the solution circulating through underground tubes is completely silent. Unlike an air source heat pump, the heat pump components are located inside the house, not in the backyard.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
Photo Credit: Tony Buser via Compfight cc